What Is PKI (Public Key Infrastructure)?

This section describes what is PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) - an information technology infrastructure that enables Internet users to securely exchange information using the public and private key technology.

What Is PKI (Public Key Infrastructure)? PKI is an information technology infrastructure that enables Internet users to securely and privately exchange information through the use of a public and a private key pair that is obtained and shared through a trusted authority. The public key infrastructure provides for a digital certificate that can identify an individual or an organization and directory services that can store and, when necessary, revoke the certificates.

Elements of a public key infrastructure are:

The following diagram from wikipedia.org provides a good illustration of how PKI works:
PKI Introduction Rough outline of diagram: A user applies for a certificate with his public key at a registration authority (RA). The latter confirms the user's identity to the certification authority (CA) which in turn issues the certificate. The user can then digitally sign a contract using his new certificate. His identity is then checked by the contracting party with a validation authority (VA) which again receives information about issued certificates by the certification authority.

Last update: 2011.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

Introduction of PKI (Public Key Infrastructure)

What Is PKI (Public Key Infrastructure)?

 Usage Examples of Public Key Infrastructure

 Most Popular Certificate Authorities

 Introduction of HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)

 Using HTTPS with IE (Internet Explorer) 10

 Using HTTPS with Chrome 40

 Using HTTPS with Firefox 35

 Perl Scripts Communicating with HTTPS Servers

 PHP Scripts Communicating with HTTPS Servers

 Java Programs Communicating with HTTPS Servers

 Certificate Stores and Certificate Console

 .NET Programs Communicating with HTTPS Servers

 CAcert.org - Root CA Offering Free Certificates

 PKI CA Administration - Issuing Certificates

 Digital Signature - Microsoft Word 2007

 Digital Signature - OpenOffice.org 3

 S/MIME and Email Security

 PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) Terminology

 Outdated Tutorials

 References

 PDF Printing Version